I awoke too early for a Saturday, and rolled out of bed. I knew my students would be doing the same, most likely later then myself and without eating. So I gathering my ipod, dance clothes, laptop and wallet, jumped in the car and set out to find food for the 30 some high school kids that would grace my presence at 9pm. Upon arriving at 8:40, four girls greeted me and were the first to dive into the bagels and cream cheese I brought. Slowly, everyone arrived and by 9:07 we began, our bellies fully and our heads full of sleep.
First we stretched, or everyone groaned as they tried to touch their toes. Music was played and by the time we ended the warm-ups with echappe’s everyone was awake. An echappe is basically the ballet version of jumping jacks…just harder, with more bending and jumping. But we wee awake to finish “Magic to do.”
At 10:30 the playing began. We pulled out a parachute and began the age old ritual of playing with the colorful nylon. Red, blue, yellow and green all swirl together as the girls bring the parachute on and the men grab it from them. Up and down, up and down, up and down, twist turn and twirl.
Three old bikes were brought out as well. I brought these three from home, a Yellow, a royal blue and a turquoise bike…all well loved and ready to perform in a musical. The cast played with the parachute and bikes, trying to get all three bikes under the parachute, or turning with the parachute in the air, winding Andrew (Pippin) up in it and spinning him out.
This playing is all for “With You,” a 7 min dance number about love and partying, so we play with a parachute. I’m trying to promise the cast that it won’t be as hard as “Once a Year Day” was in The Pajama Game last year… we shall see.